WHEREAS, the waters of the Nation are a finite and valuable natural resource, and an adequate supply of high quality water is essential to the health, safety, welfare and quality of life of the citizens of South Carolina and Georgia; necessary for individual, agricultural, industrial, commercial and recreational uses; and vital for the existence of fish and wildlife; and
WHEREAS, the Savannah River forms the state boundary between South Carolina and Georgia for almost 200 miles and the states share significant water resources of the Savannah River Basin; and growth and development on both sides of the Savannah River are driving demand for finite water resources; and
WHEREAS, the Governor's Water Law Review Committee recommended that South Carolina begin a process with Georgia whereby water issues of mutual interest may be discussed; and South Carolina and Georgia lack a formal bi-state context to address demand related issues including water supply, wastewater disposal, flood control, economic development and recreation.
NOW, THEREFORE, I do hereby establish the Governor's Savannah River Committee of South Carolina (the Committee) in conjunction with the Governor's Savannah River Committee of Georgia.
1. The Committee and their counterparts from the Governor's Savannah River Committee of Georgia shall convene a bi-state forum to identify and discuss issues of mutual interest related to the water resources of the Savannah River Basin.
2. The respective Committees shall correspond and meet as required in their function as the official forum for engaging water issues between the State of South Carolina and the State of Georgia.
3. The Committee shall be comprised of the Governor or his designee, the Chairman of the Board of the Department of Natural Resources, the Chairman of the Board of the Department of Health and Environmental Control and other members appointed by the Governor to include on representative of the Upper Basin, one representative of the Middle Basin, and one representative of the Lower Basin.
4. The Committee shall be authorized in the furtherance of its mission to hold public hearings and take such other actions as it deems necessary and advisable.
5. The Governor's Office shall provide staff support as necessary to assist the Committee in carrying out the directives of this Executive Order. The Committee may also receive staff support and technical assistance from the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Health and Environmental Control and the Department of Commerce, as their respective boards and the Committee deem appropriate.
This Order shall take effect immediately.
GIVEN UNDER MY HAND AND THE GREAT SEAL OF THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA, THIS 21st DAY OF JUNE, 2005.